Owners love the West Bend Electric Can Opener's hands-free auto-on and auto-off operation. This can opener is tall and stable enough to handle large cans, although it may not fully pierce recessed lids. Owners occasionally complain about tearing labels and a flimsy, plastic trigger that can break. Its cutting mechanism is removable -- and dishwasher-safe -- for easy cleaning or replacement.
Almost works by itself. "I can walk away while it is opening the can," writes one Walmart.com user who, like most others, loves its hands-free operation. Just push the lever down and let the can opener do the rest; it'll start and stop automatically. The West Bend is tall enough to handle oversize cans and heavy enough you don't have to worry about it tipping over. It's also quiet for an electric model and has a magnet to hold on to cut lids. On the downside, we found occasional complaints the appliance tears paper labels off cans.
More plastic than before. Most owners say the West Bend Electric will last at least three to five years on average, although a single cutting head (Est. $25) may last eight or more years with regular use. The cutting unit is top-rack dishwasher-safe, and the entire appliance is covered by a one-year limited warranty.
Feedback concerning durability is positive, and users say customer service attends to complaints promptly. However, they note newer versions of the West Bend Electric Can Opener contain more plastic parts than previous models. The trigger that activates the opener is made of plastic and destined to fail eventually, write a few reviewers. Cord storage and a knife sharpener on the back are useful additions.
The West Bend Electric Can Opener receives more than 1,100 user reviews on Amazon.com -- well out of the ordinary, even on this prolific review site. They lodge a few complaints about durability and performance issues, but generally have only good things to say.
Review: West Bend Electric Can Openers, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of October 2013
Nearly 80 user-reviewers give this can opener an impressive 4.9-star rating on Walmart.com. Most rave about how well it opens tall cans, although a couple point out the plastic trigger.
Review: West Bend Extra Tall Can Opener, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of October 2013
About nine users rate the West Bend at Dillards.com, giving it a nearly perfect score overall. One owner says the cutting unit lasted for eight years of daily use before finally going dull.
Review: West Bend Can Opener, Contributors to Dillards.com, As of October 2013
The quality of reviews at Viewpoints.com varies greatly, but a few still provide useful feedback. The West Bend Electric Can Opener receives an average score of 92 (out of 100) after about a dozen user reviews.
Review: West Bend 77205 Electric Can Opener Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of October 2013
It's not clear how or if any testing was conducted on the expensive/inexpensive kitchen gadget pairings listed in this roundup. Still, we note that the West Bend Electric Can Opener made it into Boston.com's selection as just one of two can openers on the list; it's the "expensive" pick.
Review: Just the Ticket for Frugal Foodies, John M. Guilfoil, Oct. 18, 2009